Playing Catch Up – My Thoughts On WWE Money In The Bank 2016

Hey folks, I’m back once again with another wrestling review. As a reminder I’m trying to finally watch all of the WWE PPVs I’ve missed this year, and in turn am reviewing them all. This time around it’s Money In The Bank 2016’s turn. I would give a spoiler warning but…..come on…..this PPV happened in June. If you’re like me and still hadn’t seen it yet, you’ve had long enough.

Quick Thoughts On The Pre-Show Matches

Breezango vs. Golden Truth

Honestly the whole thing of Breeze & Fandango having to sell burns like that ruined the entire match for me. For one thing they barely did any actual offense, and for another….how the fuck, in kayfabe, could they have been medically cleared to compete when THEY HAVE SKIN PEELING OFF THEIR BODIES? I know it’s an odd thing to complain about in wrestling but it bothered me. Though really I just hated that it meant the two couldn’t really do anything due to having to sell the stupid angle.

Match Rating – Solid D- (Could’ve been harsher but Goldust was present so I
couldn’t)

The Lucha Dragons vs. The Dudleys

Not a bad match. Nothing memorable but nothing horrible either. Good match to warm up the crowd……yeah I got nothing. Again though this wasn’t bad, just I don’t have much to say about it.

Match Rating – Solid C+

Main Show

Fatal 4-Way Tag match for the WWE Tag Team Championships:
The New Day (Big E & Kofi; champs) vs. Enzo & Cass vs. The Vaudevillains vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows

This was a pretty solid show opener, nothing too amazing but not bad either. However, here is one glaring thing that makes me hate the finish of this match. I don’t even mind the botched Trouble In Paradise spot by comparison. What I’m talking about is how Karl Anderson tags Aiden English to make himself legal, then clears the ring……only to go after Aiden as if he was legal…..YOU JUST TAGGED HIM TO BECOME LEGAL! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

And then Kofi ends up pinning Aiden after him and Big E attack Karl anyway despite Karl & Kofi being the legal men. For fuck’s sake people, keep track of this shit. Kofi was down I guess so I can’t blame him too much, but the referee and Karl are fucking idiots for screwing that up so damn bad. Christ this bothered me so damn much. I’m just gonna end it there.

Match Rating – Solid D- (Trust me I could’ve made this an E or F rating but I’m feeling generous because the match is perfectly alright otherwise)

Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin

I literally could not care less about this match. Wasn’t good, wasn’t necessarily horrible. I just don’t care.

Match Rating – Solid C

Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Natalya & Becky Lynch

Honestly this match is pretty forgettable, which is sad considering most of the women involved. Ah well. Like it’s nothing horrible but it once again it’s just not memorable. However, the post-match where the frustration boils over and Natalya goes apeshit on Becky? Oh my God I fucking LOVED that shit. That shit was great. Only too bad that Nattie didn’t lock her in the Sharpshooter to show she’d really snapped.

Match Rating – Solid C+ (Would’ve been lower but YEAH THAT NATTIE HEEL TURN WOOHOO!)

Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews

Good filler match I guess, nothing too memorable happens aside from Sheamus hitting Apollo with White Noise off the 2nd turnbuckle. Kinda bugs me that Apollo wins with a roll-up of sorts (Crucifix to be specific) rather than hitting a finisher, but whatever.

Match Rating – Solid C

AJ Styles vs. John Cena

Not only does Cena gets his arse handed to him for like most of this match……but he doesn’t even get to do his usual Herculean comeback either. Like holy shit. And sure AJ goes over dirty which is kinda iffy for me, but hell, AJ WENT OVER in their first encounter. THAT surprises me. Like holy fuck.

Generally this match was pretty solid. I’ve also seen it said that it was probably better that AJ & Cena seemed to hold back from going all out in this first encounter, because in  hindsight that’s a big issue with some of these big encounters they do. They blow their load in match one and the follow ups are just rehashes.

So yeah, I was content with this for their first encounter. Looking forward to seeing their next one.

Match Rating – Solid A (Yep, not an A+)

Money In The Bank Ladder match:
Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Alberto Del Rio

Holy crap this match was fun to watch. Plenty of good ladder spots. Though obviously the most notable one was that insane Michinoku Driver Sami gave to Owens onto a ladder laying side-on rather than flat. Holy absolute fuck was that spot insane. I honestly thought Owens was gonna have to take time off after that. I’d had the outcome of this spoiled for me (because you know, months behind) but regardless the match itself was great.

Match Rating – Solid A+

WWE United States Championship match:
Rusev (champ) vs. Titus O’Neil

God damn I did NOT give a shit about this match at all. I like Titus and I’m fairly neutral on Rusev, but just….I dunno, this just reaked of “oops we need a midcard title defense”. The match is nothing to write home about despite not really being horrible, and the crowd is pretty dead for the whole thing. Poor Titus.

Honest to God the best part of this whole thing was Rusev taunting Titus’ sons after the match and being all “Happy Father’s Day!”. That was honestly funny as hell to me.

Match Rating – Solid C (Would be lower but I’m trying to not entirely be an arsehole)

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match:
Roman Reigns (champ) vs. Seth Rollins

If I’m honest, this match was better than both of the matches Roman had with AJ Styles. Just my opinion anyway. Though I guess Seth & Roman know each other better so that helps. Seth went over clean. CLEAN. I was fucking shocked. Mainly because I knew what was coming next but yeah. Holy crap. After all the shit Roman kicked out of with AJ, this seems like a rib or something.

Though Seth catching Roman mid-air with a Pedigree of sorts as a counter to the Spear was cool. What was also nice was Seth pretty much immediately just hitting another Pedigree and going for the pin. A “needs more than one finisher” finish that actually works. Who knew? Oh and of course there’s the whole double swerve where Dean comes out and cashes in on Seth.

It both bugged me because I hate shit like this (guy wins title only to immediately drop it) but also kinda made sense because well, it’s Dean. In storyline he’s always hated Seth since The Shield broke up, so I guess it makes sense for him to ruin the moment for Seth. Which ya know, fair enough. Dean winning the title in itself was cool. Would’ve been cooler if I hadn’t known about it being a thing before but ah well. That’s what happens when you’re months behind on the PPVs.

Match Rating – B+

Match Of The Night – Money In The Bank Ladder match
Overall PPV Rating – Solid C+

All-in-all this PPV had at least three above average matches, but the rest of the show was very hit and miss, or just forgettable. I don’t really know what to make of it. That said, Dean ending the show as champion was a cool memorable note to end on. I literally can’t think of anything else to say though, so I guess I’ll end it here. I’ll see you next time folks.

Life In The Carpool Lane (WWE Fastlane 2016 Review)

Hey everyone. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a wrestling review, and my video “reviews” are usually way too long-winded for their own good. So, here’s the compromise. I’m doing written wrestling PPV reviews again! Thus, these are my thoughts on WWE Fastlane 2016.

As usual my standards were honestly set pretty low going into this one. There was at least one or two matches I was looking forward to that I knew were happening. But that’s about it. Speaking of which.

Kickoff Match
2/3 Falls match for the US Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto (c)

So, I’m just going to go ahead and say this match was great. At least I thought so. The two guys had me on the edge of my seat near the end for some of those near falls. But the main point I want to bring up, and the only thing that bugged me about this match is……WHY WAS THIS THE FUCKING PRE-SHOW MATCH? I mean, are you fucking kidding me? What the hell WWE? ARE YOU HIGH?! This was at the very least a match you open a PPV proper with, NOT A MATCH YOU RELEGATE TO THE PRE-SHOW!

*Ahem* Anyway, I could honestly keep bitching about it but I’d be here for a while. In any case, great match, dumb decision to put it on the pre-show. If I had anything nice to say about that decision, it’s kind of a backhanded compliment. That being I figure the only way this match would’ve had 15 minutes or so would’ve been if it was on the pre-show.

Side note: Who the fuck is that new-ish commentator that was actually calling the action during this match? This is the first time I can remember hearing this guy, and he’s already a better commentator than literally every other commentator WWE has right now. Pair this guy with Regal and fire everyone else. You’ll save a lot of money WWE.

Winner – Kalisto (1st and 3rd falls)
Match Rating – Solid A+ (Mainly to spite WWE for putting this on the FUCKING PRE-SHOW ARGH!)

PPV proper
Opening match: Sasha Banks & Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka & Naomi

At first I was honestly annoyed that this was the PPV opener, and I still honestly am, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like this match. In fact, this was a pretty good women’s tag match for WWE. Tamina & Naomi actually gel pretty well as a team, which is nice to see. It also helped to sell the “actual team vs. two singles people team” dynamic they were trying to push.

Not much else to say about this match. Damn good effort by all the women involved, especially considering the iffy reputation women’s tag matches in WWE usually have. Though please, give Naomi a new finisher. The Rear View is fucking stupid.

Winners – Sash & Becks (Let’s see if anyone gets that joke)
Match Rating – Solid A-

Intercontinental Championship match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens (c)

Like the match before this one, I wasn’t aware this match was happening. That said this did still turn out to be a pretty good match. I would say great, but honestly the first 5-10 minutes were kind of meh. I mean, sure, maybe Owens was doing the Orton technique of “nothing but rest holds” to piss off the crowd intentionally (in fact I’m almost certain that was the case), but it still rang a little hollow because that time frame just ended up being kinda boring.

And of course, as soon as the action picks up and gets interesting, we get a “this is awesome” chant. Which honestly I don’t think was deserved, and the fans in attendance were just easy as fuck to please. Personally my reaction was “Ok now I give a shit” not “WOW AMAZING 10/10!” but hey, that’s just me. Overall the match was pretty good, and even though I thought WWE were gonna make Owens cheat to win. Nope. He won clean. Can honestly say I’m surprised. Guess this feud isn’t going any further.

Winner (and still IC Champ) – Kevin Owens
Match Rating – Solid B+ (Would be higher but the mediocre first half brings the score down)

6-Man Tag Team match – Ryback, Kane & Big Show vs. Luke Harper, Eric Rowan & Braun Strowman

Not a horrible match, but the Wyatt Family lost so, you know what? l don’t give a shit. Fuck you WWE.

Winners – The Team That Should’ve Lost
Rating – Solid Z- (yes that rating doesn’t exist but fuck you I hate WWE that much over this)

Diva’s Championship match – Brie “My Husband’s Retirement Helped My Career” Bella vs. Charlotte (c)

I’m gonna be honest with you. I tried sitting through the video package, then realised they were just using Daniel Bryan’s retirement and Nikki Bella’s injury to emotionally manipulate us into liking Brie. Most people don’t give a shit about either one of the Bella Twins. Me? Nikki has warmed on me since she’s improved so her injury sucks. Bryan retiring also sucks. But what sucks more is trying to make us care about Brie because the other two people in her life with some actual talent are both broken.

Then I tried watching the match itself. Only to give up when they bring up Brie is wearing Bryan’s WrestleMania XXX kickpads. Fuck off. Because I only watched the ending and the match highlights I can’t say whether or not the match was good or bad, so I won’t give this a rating. But fuck you WWE. Fuck you for exploiting this shit to make us like someone. That’d be like if The Rock died and you exploited it to make more people like Roman Reigns. Hell, it’s like when Eddie Guerrero died and you used it to push Rey Mysterio to the World Heavyweight Championship.

Note that I am blaming WWE for this, not Brie herself. But she isn’t exactly an innocent party since she’s going along for the ride without complaint. But still. Fuck WWE for that. If Brie needs this to get over then that really shows how little of a shit people actually give about her.

Winner – Charlotte

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho

Not much I can really say about this match without going in circles, so I’ll say this much. This was a damn fine match. Considering the shape he seemed to be in, Jericho put on a good show, and even attempted a Tiger Driver/Tiger Bomb (pending which you prefer) at one point. It got reversed but the point is he broke out a move he doesn’t do anymore. It was either that or he was going for that double under-hook backbreaker thing. But I assume Tiger Driver.

AJ was great and, without trying to sound insulting, carried the match. The Pele kick he hit on Jericho when Jericho was on the top turnbuckle was cool because I honestly didn’t expect him to reach far enough to connect. But he did, thankfully. Overall this was a good match as I said. The fans were dead for the entrances, but they picked up and cheered for both when the match itself started. So that kind of made up for it.

Only issue I have is the match actually seemed a tad too drawn out. Though that may just be me being tired as I write this……also because I’m kinda distracting myself as I write this. It’s definitely one of those things anyway.

Winner – AJ Styles
Match Rating – Solid A-

The “We Realised We Had A Lot Of Time To Fill So Fuck It, Here’s Another Match” match – R-Truth vs. Curtis Axel

So yeah. This was a thing. Not a bad match but extremely short. If nothing else I give them credit for at least continuing the story between Goldust & R-Truth. By doing that the match seemed slightly less like a pre-main event filler match. It still was though.

Winner – Curtis Axel
Match Rating – Solid C+ (Didn’t have time to be anything great, but it was at least decent)

Main Event for the spot at WrestleMania because we made the Rumble match for the title, so now we have to do this even though you know Reigns is winning – Dean “I’m here to take the fall” Ambrose vs. Brock “Why Am I Even Here?” Lesnar vs. Roman “I’m Obviously Winning This Thing” Reigns

As you can tell I didn’t exactly have high hopes for this match. And to a point I was justified in that. Lesnar spammed suplexes as usual, but luckily WWE got that bullshit out of the way early to allow for an actual match to happen when Dean & Reigns would take Lesnar out of the equation. To be honest any time Brock was getting attacked was a highlight for me. That’s how much I fucking hate this run Brock has had.

In a way this match is very reminiscent of the Rollins/Cena/Brock triple threat from the Rumble last year. If only for how Brock gets taken out for most of it so we can have an actual match. Though Dean/Reigns wasn’t as good as Rollins/Cena. That said the stuff with them facing off did hold my interest, so they have that going for them. I already knew thanks to spoilers that Roman was winning but, come on, of course he was gonna win.

One thing I didn’t forsee was how exactly Lesnar would be neutralised. I had expected the Wyatt Family to come out and decimate Lesnar, probably carrying him backstage or something too. But that didn’t happen. Thanks to RAW results I know why, but yeah. Honestly I’m kind of glad about that whole thing cause now Bray doesn’t have to suffer being squashed by Lesnar……….but on the other hand, now Dean does. Well, I guess you can’t win ’em all. Which at this point might as well be Dean or Bray’s motto.

In conclusion, as I said, this match wasn’t exactly bad, and any time Brock was laid out was great, but overall the match was still only just “good”, which isn’t really good enough for a PPV MAIN EVENT! But I digress. They did the best they could with the situation at hand, and we all knew Reigns was gonna win so who even cares?

Winner – Roman Reigns
Match Rating – Solid B+. Would be lower or higher, but the predictability and Lesnar’s inclusion knocked it down a few pegs, and Lesnar getting put through two tables and smashed with a chair brings it back up a bit.

Overall PPV Rating – Solid B+ (Not going by an averages or anything, just going with what I feel it deserves)

Final Thoughts

So. Was this PPV crap? Honestly I’d say no, it wasn’t crap. Was it great? I wouldn’t say that either. The best word I can think of right now is……..decent. This PPV was decent. We’re on the fucking road to WrestleMania and all I can come up with is “decent”. How sad is that?

And honestly I’m gonna leave it at that. I could go on about how I think Triple H should’ve had a title defense on the PPV as a random short match against a midcarder to give a guy some exposure, but I’ll leave it at a mention so I don’t make this any longer. And with that, I’ll see you guys in April for what is shaping up to be a very mediocre WrestleMania. 

Prove me wrong WWE. Prove. Me. Wrong.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Eye Of The Tiger (Survivor Series 2014 Review)

Not having been able to watch it live, Thomas gives his delayed thoughts on the 2014 edition of the Survivor Series PPV.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0: Hell Froze Over (Hell In A Cell 2014 Review)

After putting it off due to finally being able to use his PS4, Thomas gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Hell In A Cell 2014.

The Ring Of Fyre 2.0 – WWE Night Of Champions 2014 Review

This time on The Ring Of Fyre, Thomas can’t think of a clever alternate name for the PPV……..oh and gives his thoughts on WWE’s latest PPV offering, Night Of Champions 2014.

 

Fyreharticles: Survivor Series 2013 Review

Survivor Series 2013 poster

Well, it’s come and gone so here we go, my review of the 2013 Survivor Series PPV. This is being done as I watch it online by the way. Just thought I’d clarify that. Before I start though, I would like the point out two things. One is that the theme song for this PPV is complete shite. Second, what the hell is up with the Survivor Series logo? It seems like the “VIV” either wouldn’t light up properly or aren’t supposed to. See this is what happens when you do a set up like that WWE. Next time make it the whole thing across, or actually check that shit before the PPV starts.

Can’t entirely blame them for that I guess, but still, it looks like a rundown hotel sign. Anyway, on to the PPV.

Classic 5-on-5 Survivor Series match: Team Racial Equality (Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Jimmy & Jey Uso, and Rey Mysterio) vs. Team Believe In The People/Team Real American Justice (Take your pick) (Shield & Real Americans) – Well, this match definitely didn’t disappoint. Odd that they opened the show with the match most people only wanted to see, but ok. Was kind of annoyed when it got down to 2-on-5 with the heels being down so much, mainly cause I dreaded a clean sweep, but then I realised that was purely to help Roman get over as a monster by destroying most of the face team. I can live with that.

I marked out so hard for most of the Roman eliminations, especially the final elimination where Roman caught Rey with a Spear as he was trying for the 619. That was great because it looked so damn impactful. Helps that Rey ran into it, but regardless it was pretty great. Not much else to say really.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Good way to open the PPV.

Big E. Langston (c) vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship – Not a great match but it was pretty solid. Big E. retains and the Big Ending rings true as Axel will probably not be seen on RAW or SmackDown much from now on, thus ending his “big push”. I like Axel, I really do. He can’t talk his way out of a paper bag but I like him. Probably for the best that his push is over now though, as his best matches are usually on Superstars. Granted this was one of his better matches, but still.

Match rating: Solid C+ – Not a great match, but a pretty good effort from both men regardless.

7-on-7 Survivor Series match: Team Reality Show (Brie & Nikki Bella, Cameron, Naomi, Jojo, Eva Marie and Natalya) vs. Team Everyone Else (AJ lee, Tamina, Kaitlyn, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Aksana & Summer Rae) – I gave subzero fucks about this match going in, but it honestly wasn’t the train wreck I was expecting. Hell, the “dance off” between Summer Rae and….I’m gonna guess Nikki Bella, was actually kind of funny. Better than Cody & Zeb twerking before the opener (Yes, that actually happened). Natalya wins for the Total Divas team, which is honestly the only way I would’ve accepted that team winning. A funny thing to mention is that both Lillian Garcia and the commentators totally forget Natalya wasn’t the only person left on her team. Nikki tagged out, she wasn’t eliminated. I mean, it shows how little an impact the Bellas have that they forgot, and it is kind of funny, but Nikki has been improving lately and due to Total Divas WWE has a reason to care about her, so it was a bit odd.

I’m hoping this will lead to a Natalya/AJ title match at TLC in any case. And what would be interesting is if WWE actually gave the Divas one of the gimmick matches to work with. Would help it stand out a bit anyway. Not the ladder or TLC match, but the “Chairs” or Tables matches could be interesting to give to the Divas. Since they rarely use weapons anyway the Chairs match would suffice, but either or.

Match rating: Solid C- – Like the match before it, it wasn’t great. But it surprisingly wasn’t shit either, so that’s a plus.

Mark Henry vs. Ryback – Wow. This match came outta nowhere. Totally didn’t call Mark Henry accepting the challenge Ryback randomly threw out, but I should’ve seen it coming. Mark wins in a short match that was honestly forgettable, aside from Mark either attempting a crossbody, or generally hitting Ryback with something that just ended up looking like a botched crossbody.

Match rating: Solid D+ – Point added for Mark Henry’s return, but it was still pretty forgettable. And honestly, forgettable is worse than bad.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (c) for the World Heavyweight Championship – “Cena wins lol” would normally sum it up, but I give Cena credit for this match. He actually sold the arm several times, including after power he powered out of the Cross Armbreaker. It also looked like Alberto had it won several times, so at the very least it was an even match. Cena wins (lol) with an AA in a nice little exchange where him and Alberto reversed each other’s finishers before Cena was finally successful. Pretty good match, though the most memorable part would have to be Cena hitting a Tornado DDT. It’s not the first time he’s done it, but it was still cool to see.

Match rating: Solid B+ – Wouldn’t call it a great match, but it was still pretty good.

The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Eric Rowan) vs. Team ROH (Daniel Bryan & CM Punk) – Wait, this is AFTER the Cena match? Holy shit, WWE must have a lot of faith in this match. Pretty damn good match from these four guys. I honestly think it could’ve gone either way. Almost wanted Luke & Eric to win, but it did make sense to have Bryan & Punk win. I hope this feud isn’t over yet though. A TLC or Tables match between The Wyatt Family & Punk/Bryan would be cool to see next month. Punk & Bryan win with Punk hitting Luke with a GTS, and Luke doing one of the better sells for the move by basically crumbling in place.

Match rating: Solid A+ – Easy contender for match of the night.

Big Show vs. Randy Orton (c) for the WWE Championship – Honestly kind of surprised this is the main event of the PPV, but ok. Nice to see Big Show getting to main event a PPV in a singles match. That doesn’t happen much, if it ever has.

*Actually watches the match*

Oh. Well, damn, this should’ve been switched with the WHC match in card order honestly. That match was better by far. Granted there’s a lot more you can do with Cena/Del Rio than Orton/Big Show, so you know. I mean, wow. Not much actually happens and the crowd really doesn’t give too much of a shit. Considering the match this is following I’m not surprised. Orton retains in the biggest “we saw it coming” moment of the night. Hey, WWE, here’s a tip. If you’re gonna have ANY kind of “interference” happen, don’t hype that none will. When you say something won’t happen, we expect the opposite; especially if you bring it up constantly.

Match rating: Solid D- – Yeah, pretty piss poor main event honestly. Sad considering it’s probably the last shot at the WWE Title Big Show will ever get.

Oh, after the main event Cena comes out and they just have him kind of pose in the ring after a brief stare down like he’s just being a dick and stealing Orton’s spotlight, but really it’s just a half-arsed tease for the title unification match that may or may not be happening at WrestleMania XXX, or some time before then, I don’t know. Please WWE, if that happens, don’t have Orton/Cena. We’ve been down that road before multiple times and it didn’t work. Have Orton drop the WWE title to someone else before you do that. Also you do realise you just spoiled the next few months of PPV title matches with that tease if it goes ahead right? Just checking.

Overall PPV rating: Solid C+ – Not an entirely irredeemable PPV, so it’s worth at least one watch. I wouldn’t buy it on DVD when it comes out though.
Match of The Night: Wyatt Family vs. Punk & Bryan – Had two A+ matches, so I just picked one of the two for this. I stand by it and that’s all I really need to say I think.

Final Thoughts:
It was somewhat better than I expected, but it didn’t blow my expectations out of the water or anything. The main event was a total disappointment, especially since I can remember Big Show & Orton having better matches before. Not necessarily great matches, but matches that were better than this one by comparison. The undercard was surprisingly solid however, and I’m still surprised Punk & Bryan’s match with the Wyatt Family was after the World Heavyweight Championship match. Score one for the “vanilla midgets” I guess. Overall, like I said before, this PPV is worth at least one viewing. If you don’t watch the whole show, then I recommend the 5-on-5 match and the Luke & Eric v Punk & Bryan matches as things you should definitely check out.

That’s about all I can think of currently, aside from a few ramble-y thoughts I decided to leave out (Orton kicking out of the most devastating Chokeslam ever, Luke’s big boot not being a finisher, etc.), so I’ll leave it at that and see you guys next time, which won’t be too long this time, for reals.

Fyreharticles: Hell In A Cell 2013 Review


(Fan poster created by deviantART user sebaz316)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another PPV review by yours truly. This time around, Hell In A Cell. I honestly can’t even feign enthusiasm and I only really just woke up (slept through the PPV) so let’s just get started.

Pre-show match: Kofi Kingston vs. Damien Sandow – Yes, that’s right, Curtis Axel/Big E Langston isn’t the pre-show match. Never fear though, if you cared about that match it did happen on the actual PPV from what they say on commentary, so I’ll get to that later. Pretty meh match in retrospect, though Kofi doing a Hilo off the steps was pretty cool. Sandow wins with a Full Nelson Slam. Ok. I can live with that.

Match Rating: Solid C+ (Figured I’d get a new rating system) – Already forgotten most of what happened and there was only 2 memorable parts of the match anyway, but it was by no means a terrible match.

Writer’s Note: Oh, seems I misheard. Big E’s facing Dean Ambrose for the US Title on the actual PPV, not Axel for the IC Title. My bad.

Cody Rhodes & Goldust (c) vs. The Usos vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the WWE Tag Team Championships – Wow. Just…wow. This match was AMAZING! AND IT’S ONLY THE SHOW OPENER! Good lord, if this is a sign of things to come, then this PPV may actually be worth it. With this we also get our first “Holy shit!” moment of the night when Cody superplexed Seth to the outside and onto the other men in the match. I honestly didn’t think the spot would happen (as it never seems to for obvious reasons), but damn when it did I legit marked out. I noticed this match actually got a good amount of time to work with; felt like it went for at least 15 minutes. WWE also managed to trick me into thinking The Usos could win, so I tip my hat to them for actually doing that. Cody & Goldust retain after Cody hits Seth with a jumping Cross Rhodes (after almost everyone else had been taken out), and hopefully they get a decent run in before the Usos FINALLY get a run with the belts.

Match Rating: Solid A+++ – THAT is how you open a PPV.

After that match The Miz came out and challenged Bray to a fight, only to get what basically amounted to a “no” from Bray and Luke & Eric show up instead. Kane of all people returns and makes the save, only to Chokeslam Miz anyway. Just goes to show, everybody hates The Miz. Normally I don’t bring up this kind of stuff when talking about PPVs, but this wasn’t an entirely pointless moment so yeah, decided to bother mentioning it.

Writer’s Note: After that we got Fandango & Summer Rae vs. Khali & Natalya. I could NOT be bothered to watch it, so I skipped to the end and noticed that Summer Rae won with a clean roll up. So there you go.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Big E. Langston for the United States Championship – This match was alright but nothing overly special. Well, except Big E getting busted open.


(rare to see black WWE wrestlers bleed)

Plus Dean Ambrose getting a bit of that blood on him and not giving a fuck, and Big E hitting Dean with a spear through the ropes. Aside from that it was standard stuff. Big E wins via count out and therefore Dean retains, with Big E. laying out Dean anyway afterwards.

Match Rating: Solid B+ – Mainly for the things I mentioned before.

CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman in a 2-on-1 Handicap Hell In A Cell match – Not a terrible match, but since Heyman didn’t even get involved the handicap aspect was completely pointless. I will however say that this match was fairly boring despite being mercifully short. Punk wins off a GTS and then sticks a kendo stick through his tights.

Then climbs up on top of the cell (Where Heyman had been the entire match) and beats Heyman up with it. So Punk wins the feud and hopefully both sides can move on to other things.

Match Rating: Solid C- – Still want the “Heyman Guys” thing to go the way of the stable of clients Heyman had back in late 02/early 03 though.

Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans – Well. Cesaro did that Giant Swing. And Los Matadores won with a tag move. I guess that’s cool. Seriously though, not a bad match, but not a memorable one either.

Match Rating: Solid D- – El Torito surprisingly still doesn’t bother me though

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship – This was honestly a pretty good match; not great but good. Cena pulling off a decent Tornado DDT and diving crossbody were some highlights of his stuff, as well as rolling through on the Cross Armbreaker into a an STS (What Cena does is rarely an STF). They keep panning back to Sandow watching, but that doesn’t amount to anything; shame really. Cena wins with the only successful AA of the match and I don’t know whether I care or not. Kind of indifferent on him winning to a degree. I wanted Del Rio to retain, but at the same time the WHC may stop being treated like the IC Title for a while with Cena in its title scene. Cena leaves with Sandow not even so much as coming out to tease a cash in….booooooo.

Match Rating: Solid A+ – Mainly because Cena did pretty well in this match, especially coming off an injury. Props to him for breaking out some new moves.

Writer’s Note: AJ vs. Brie up next….ugh, do I have to watch this? I do? God damn it.

AJ Lee (c) w/ Tamina vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella for the Diva’s Championship – Wow. That wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Brie definitely seems to be making the effort to improve at least going by how this match started. The crowd was kinda dead for them in parts though; I felt both sorry for and laughed at Nikki for having to try for two or so minutes just to get a decent slow clap from the audience. Just goes to show how little of a shit the fans give about the Bella Twins. AJ wins via submission and keeps the belt. Thank God.

Match Rating: Solid C+ – Brie wasn’t terrible and AJ was AJ. Might’ve gone up to a B- had Brie used a Flying Mare.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton in a Hell In A Cell match for the vacant WWE Championship – Well, we finally got what we wanted at least; a WWE Champion was crowned. The match was pretty good, nothing really mind blowing but it wasn’t terrible. Despite accidentally spoiling it for myself (really should’ve avoided Facebook completely) I was content with the finish. Triple H is Shawn’s best friend, they’ve been hammering that in for weeks to remind us. Of course when Bryan attacks Triple H Shawn would retaliate, that’s what friends do. Plus if that was blatantly supposed to be a heel turn, nobody told Shawn, since he basically sold it like he was thinking “Shit! What have I done?” and my guess is that’s how they’ll play it.

As far as I’m concerned though, this should be the end of Bryan’s WWE Title matches for a few months. He should drop down a rung and feud with Triple H now. But that’s just me, I seriously want to see a Team YES vs. Team “Best For Business” match at Survivor Series. Really though I just want them to not bother putting the belt on Bryan again until they want to give him the belt for a few months. Hell, have him win the Rumble and then win the belt at Mania; that could work if done right.

But as far as this match goes, it wasn’t bad. Could’ve been better in spots but I don’t regret watching it or anything.

Match rating: Solid B+ – And no, I didn’t just give this match that rating because Bryan was in the match.

Overall PPV Rating: Solid B- – Well, the PPV wasn’t complete shit, but I didn’t have any expectations for it to meet. Go figure.

Match Of The Night: WWE Tag Team Championship match – I don’t really need to say much else, just go and watch the match for yourself, even if it’s the only match you watch from the PPV.

Closing Thoughts – Filler In A Cell more like it to be honest. I mean, good on WWE for making Los Matadores/Real Americans a PPV match to help give the tag division more exposure, but it felt more like a SmackDown match than a PPV match. Fandango/Rae vs. Khali/Natalya came outta nowhere and I didn’t bother watching it to spare my sanity. Also I have to say, it’s kind of sad when the match of the night is the opener. It gets your hopes up, only for the rest of the show to crush those hopes.

Good points? Well, ummm, Cena did a Tornado DDT, that was cool. We finally have a WWE Champion again, which was the only hope I had going into this PPV. The fans showed why the Bella Twins shouldn’t be pushed so hard, plus AJ retained. The Usos had a strong PPV showing despite not winning, and the titles didn’t change hands after only recently doing so. Yeah I’d say the outcomes were all pretty satisfying aside from Cena winning the World Heavyweight Championship. I mean, I don’t hate Cena, but if this doesn’t help to make the title relevant again then it’s an entirely pointless run in my eyes.

All in all, this PPV could’ve been a lot worse, but it also could’ve been a lot better too. Was it better than Battleground? Yes, I can safely say that it was, though I didn’t think that PPV was entirely irredeemable either. That’s what low standards will get you folks. Expect nothing and you may get some satisfaction. And with that, I bid you adieu until my next article. I leave you with a sign from the PPV that actually got a laugh out of me.

WWE Battleground Review

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(Fan poster created by deviantART user JoKeRWord)

Hello everyone. Since I haven’t gotten around to doing the article I intended to do next yet, that will have to wait. For now? It’s time for another written review of a WWE PPV!

Ah WWE Battleground. The second PPV in a row that the vast majority couldn’t care less about going in, purely because of, say it with me now, poor build up. Hell, as of late I’ve noticed a lot of people saying the WWE has basically been on rinse-repeat mode since SummerSlam, so there seems to be nothing but bad signs going in. However, despite all that, I will be giving this PPV an objective look. There has been plenty of PPVs I’ve seen where I had no/low expectations going in, and ended up actually feeling like I hadn’t wasted my time when it was all over. Was that the case this time? Well, let’s see shall we?

Oh, one last thing. This review is “late” simply because I did not watch the PPV as it happened. Like hell I was going to pay for this PPV, and streams are very untrustworthy these days. So, since I was tired already due to being up all night, I decided to go to sleep and watch the PPV when I woke up. With that out of the way, let’s get star-…wait a minute…

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What in the name of hell is that? No seriously, I am legitimately confused by this stage set up. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea? The PPV is called Battleground, where’s the tanks? Where’s the sand bags piled on top of each other to use as cover? Where’s the Army Jeeps? WHERE’S ANYTHING THAT WOULD FIT THE NAME OF THIS PPV? Don’t get me wrong, I know this is a stupid thing to complain about, but for some reason I just can’t help it. This is something you use for a generic PPV no one cares about or that doesn’t have an actual theme. Oh. Suddenly it all makes sense now. Actually wait, no it doesn’t. If WWE DON’T want us to think this is just a PPV we’ll most likely never see again and is just here to fill space it shouldn’t be occupying (considering we have another PPV in like, what, two weeks?), they could at least dress up the stage a bit better than four of those…things. We’re off to a pretty bad start now aren’t we?

Anyway, I should probably finally get started right? Right.

Street Fight for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. RVD w/ Ricardo Rodriquez – First off I want to say two things.

1. I will never buy that Lillian Garcia will ever be annoyed by being asked to announce someone in Spanish. Any time someone with even a somewhat Spanish sounding name comes out, she’ll accentuate the hell out of that name. So please, WWE, if you’d be so kind, STOP IT.
2. I refused to call this match by its actual name because its actual name is stupid. That and it doesn’t even appear to be a proper (even by WWE standards) ”hardcore match”, and as such I have called it a Street Fight, since that’s basically what it seems to be anyway

With that out of the way, onto the match itself. And wow, the fans seemed to be far too easily amused during this one. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good match, but I don’t think it deserved the “This is awesome” chants that happened a few times. The spots were alright, but for a match they kept referring to as a “hardcore match”, falls didn’t count outside of the ring and the only weapons we got were a chair, a ladder and a trash can. Doesn’t seem like much compared to some of the No DQ matches WWE has had this year. Ricardo getting involved to help RVD was a nice surprise I must say, you rarely see face managers do that for some reason. Can’t think of any times I’ve seen that anyway off the top of my head. The chair-aided Cross Armbreaker was a nice touch, but when that happened I honestly started questioning how long the match had been going. I know it was the show opener, but it really didn’t feel like it went long enough and felt pretty rushed in hindsight. In any case, Del Rio retains and it seems RVD is out of the title picture and possibly out of the WWE now from what I hear. That would explain the decisive win I guess.

Match rating: 6/10 – Not as good as their Night Of Champions match honestly, but not a terrible match. As I said, it felt rushed and wasn’t much of a “hardcore” match, which is odd considering the men involved. Probably not the best match to open with considering how it turned out. Axel/Kofi got the crowd more warmed up than this match did. Yes, I just said that.

The Great Khali & Santino w/ Hornswoggle vs. The Real Americans (Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro) w/ Zeb Colter – A Khali match? Ugh, do I HAVE to watch this? Fine, fine, I’ll give it a chance.

*20 minutes of loading time later*

Ok yeah that was a waste of time. Some decent wrestling from everyone but Khali, but even then this match was extremely short and pretty boring. The only highlight was Cesaro using a Giant Swing on Khali. Guess that makes it the first ever literal Giant Swing. Huh. Anyway, Cesaro & Swagger win because somehow a Giant Swing is enough to beat Khali these days. What. Just. What. I like Cesaro, but that makes this match even worse. He won using a Giant Swing? HE WON! USING A GIANT! SWING!

“That could be the greatest finish in WWE” NO JBL! NO! BAD JBL! BAD! HE WON WITH A GIANT SWING!

Match rating: 3/10 – A FUCKING GIANT SWING!

Curtis Axel (c) vs. R-Truth for the Intercontinental Championship – Not much to say about this match; it was pretty boring honestly. The crowd even started random chants they were so bored (including a JBL chant). The finish was abysmal in the sense it was so anti-climactic. I actually thought Truth was going to kick out to get the crowd going again. Axel retains, no one cares, and the commentators almost immediately shift their attention to talking about the pre-show (which I haven’t watched by the way). All in all an extremely mediocre match from two guys I’d expect more from when paired up.

Match Rating: 4/10 – Not even close to being as good as Kofi/Axel from Night Of Champions.

AJ Lee (c) w/ Tamina Snuka vs. Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship – Ummmmm….the finish was sort of interesting? Tamina actually doing something was interesting? Yeah that’s all I got.

Match rating: 3/10 – Brie took that steel post like a champ though. Oh, and AJ retained by the way.

Goldust & Cody Rhodes w/ Dusty Rhodes vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) w/ Dean Ambrose – Ok. Wow. This match actually lived up to the hype and fan interest surrounding it. Despite knowing from the get go Goldust & Cody would win, this match still entertained the hell outta me; and I was legitimately invested in it the entire time. The crowd definitely helped, especially when they exploded for both Dusty hitting Ambrose with his belt buckle, and Cody winning the match. Not much else to say really. Oh wait, one more thing, Goldust with Darth Maul style face paint was amazing.

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Match rating: 9/10 – A great match with great emotion, and a great crowd response

Bray Wyatt w/ Eric Rowan & Luke Harper vs. Kofi Kingston – First things first. WWE, please stop using that stock “We’re here” clip before The Wyatt Family come out. It’s getting old, and we KNOW it’s the same damn thing. Stop it. That aside this was a pretty good little match for something that was basically thrown together at the last minute. Never thought I’d ever see a Crucifix Driver in WWE, and that exorcist thing Bray Wyatt did was creepy as fuck.

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Bray gets the win, of course, but thankfully Kofi gets a pretty damn good showing, instead of just getting steamrolled like I thought he might. Thank heavens for small miracles. Also, holy shit, that snap Sister Abigail came outta nowhere.

Match rating: 8/10 – Fairly short, but it didn’t feel rushed and was quite an enjoyable watch.

Ryback w/ Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk – You know, this match was surprisingly good. Not a fan of the finish, but still. I’m actually a fan of Ryback, and this may be the better of his encounters with CM Punk as far as matches go. Seems Punk decided to get revenge for that botched table spot from RAW two weeks ago though by busting Ryback’s jaw open with some shoot elbow strikes. Punk wins because of a low blow, taking advantage of an unintentional distraction Heyman causes. Now, my problem with the finish isn’t the fact that Punk (a face) won with dirty tactics. I mean, come on, it’s CM Punk, it makes sense. My issue is it makes Ryback look weaker than usual and he gains absolutely nothing with this loss.

I stand by my opinion that Ryback should’ve won this match, as it would’ve Punk more to work with leading into Hell In A Cell. There’ll most likely be a rematch anyway, but still, I doubt Ryback will win that rematch.

Match rating: 7/10 – Good effort from both guys, and even though I don’t really like the finish, at least it fits Punk’s character.

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for the vacant WWE Championship – Great showing from both guys, and guess what? I actually liked the finish. Well, if you can actually call it a finish. The match was never thrown out on-screen so I’m guessing it was still technically going when RAW started. Either way I actually enjoyed the entire match, and even having spoiled for myself the fact the show ended with a still vacant title, I honestly don’t care. Hell, I’m actually HAPPY it ended that way. Now we don’t have to worry about another Bryan reign being cut way too short again for the moment. Plus, this actually furthers two stories at once. All-in-all I honestly think it worked out for the best, and I would NOT change how that PPV ended.

Well, ok, that’s a lie. If I had to change one thing, I’d have them actually announce that the match has been ruled a no contest, rather than just ending like an episode of RAW or SmackDown as if that had been done already. Aside from that I’m quite content with the ending and the overall match.

Match Rating: 8/10 – Good performances, great crowd reaction, and an ending that left me (and probably ONLY me) satisfied.

Overall PPV Rating: 6/10 – Not the best PPV ever, but it’s worth at least one watch.

Match Of The Night: Goldust & Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns – ‘Nuff said.

Final Thoughts: Overall this PPV evened out and turned out to be quite watchable. It started off fairly mediocre, but once it hit my MOTN, it managed to stay above the mediocre line for the rest of the show. You could almost say that match actually inspired the guys yet to compete and that’s why. That’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it. The low points however, good lord. Just, good lord. “A GIANT SWING” could become my version of “Bat Credit Card” if I don’t let it go right now, so I will. I’ll try to anyway. In any case, the good luckily outweighed the bad and this show turned out to be quite entertaining. Here’s hoping that trend continues with Hell In A Cell; despite the fact WWE only has two weeks to build up anything for it. I’ll see you guys next time. By the way, those things on/near the stage are still stupid.